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u.s. equity futures are down by about 21 points. s&p off by 3 1/2. and as we've been talking about daily, the looming fiscal cliff is a big piece of the market story. today barack obama is officially kicking off budget negotiations. at issue is a one-two punch. we have expiring bush era tax cuts and across the board spending cuts both set to hit in january. simpson and bowles with a warning to washington about what's at stake. >> if we get over on the cliff, we don't have a deal, and the market doesn't anticipate that we're actually going to be so stupid as to go over the cliff, then i think you'll see the market really crash and i think you'll see the rating agencies downgrade our credit again, you'll see fitch and moody's join s&p. i think you'll see corporations lose confidence. you'll see them slow down hiring, stop capital xebd churs, capital will go on on strike, it will be a hell of a mess. >> leaders of both parties think it would be to their advantage to go off the fiscal cliff. what a 12 straight that is, that we could win more as democrats if we let it go or we can win m
. >>> then coming up at 8:00 eastern time, we'll be joined by weren buffett. he'll be joining us with carol lumis. let's get over to andrew, he has this morning's other top headlines. >> good morning to you, becky. the obama administration saying that china's currency remains significantly undervalued, but the u.s. treasury department is now stopping short of labeling the world's second biggest economy a currency manipulator. the white house is expected now to send the congress a multi-billion-dollar request on the recovery from superstorm sandy. the storm caused an estimated $71 billion in damages in new york and new jersey, and some congressional aides saying the request for funding would likely be at least $11 billion. the move comes as canada gets close to its decision on whether to approve the transaction. the energy companies say discussions with the committee are still in progress, and of course they had to file approval because they have extensive operations in the u.s. gulf of mexico. >>> "the wall street journal" reporting that virtue is emerging as the frontrunner to buy knight capital
that hasn't happened since october 2011. u.s. equity futures at this hour actually higher. up by about 65 for the dow, s&p more than 7, and as joe mentioned, the fiscal cliff is still the focus. today treasury secretary tim geithner will be meeting with congressional leaders. first harry reid at about 10:00 and then followed by a session with john boehner, eric cantor, paul ryan and chairman of the house's tax writing ways and means committee dave camp. also lunch with republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi. yesterday a number of high profile corporate leaders met with president obama at the white house, including lloyd blankfein. >> both sides have acknowledge there had is revenue concessions and entitlement concessions. in fact if you listen to it, again, i'm not a master of the political art here, but i would say if you have these point of views in a business context, i would say a deal would be in reach. >> among our guests this morning, we have ron johnson. at the white house today, president obama will host mitt romney for a private lunch. it's their firs
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